08 February 2008

“How may I torture you today?”

When is torture not torture? When it’s American, of course.

Only the masters of doublespeak could come up with the term “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” to cover waterboarding, standing shackled to a bolt for 40 hours, withholding pain medication for bullet wounds or being kept in a freezing cell and regularly doused in cold water.

Not illegal enough for you? Try the “acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” the US likes to use at Guantanamo Bay: 20-hour-a-day questioning for 48 out of 54 days, blasting prisoners with strobe lights and ear-splitting rock music, menacing them with snarling dogs, threatening to hurt their mothers, and humiliations such as stripping them naked in front of women, or holding them down while a female interrogator straddles them and whispers that their comrades have been killed.

President Bush will veto any attempt to outlaw the practices, effectively sanctioning American torture. Mark up another one for George Jr's legacy.

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